Looking at these pictures makes my heart ache. Annie's binky was her comfort her entire little life. We didn't let her have it much when she was awake. But whenever it was time to sleep we'd offer her her binky and blankie and away she'd go. She loved her bedtime with that precious bink. I hated, hated, hated taking it from her. I felt like I was ripping comfort out of my child's fingertips. My doctor advised me to involve Annie in the process, so she wasn't mad at me. We talked about sending the binky up to her baby brothers and sisters in the sky. She was very excited about that. We went and bought balloons and some popsicles to ease the pain. We tied her binkies to the balloons and then let them fly. I meant to hold on to a balloon for her to take home, but somehow they all slipped out of her hands. She was very sad she didn't have a balloon to hold on to and didn't really realize the binkys were gone. She ate her popsicle and gladly went back home. The first night wasn't too bad, once I got her to sleep she slept the entire night. But the nights following were horrific. She was so upset over not having her binky that she started climbing out of her crib. It was heart breaking and frustrating all at once. I had to hold her hand, sometimes up to an hour, till she'd fall asleep. This lasted several weeks before it died down and eased up. It was a rough transition for us. And I still yearn to have that magic button to give to her. But just like with anything in life, hard things are worth the price. For the sake of her teeth, I am glad we did it. But boy do I miss that binky.
The Charlotte Knights opened the new BB&T field this summer just a few blocks from our house. We were quick to try it out with our friends the Daly's. Although the Knights are only a minor league team (is that what it's called? I don't know this stuff) it was probably my favorite baseball experience to date. There is a giant field at the back where you can let your kids roll down the hill, just like the good ol' days and beer is served in mason jars (obviously we passed on the beer, but the jars were a cute touch). I loved the feeling of baseball in the South on a hot summer night. One of my favorite nights this summer.
In May we were lucky enough to go up to Virginia Beach for Mike Bouchards wedding, one of James' really good high school friends. We enjoyed catching up with his old buddies and loved the wedding on the harbor. Ann was nice enough to fly down for a really quick trip to watch Annie. She reported that Annie didn't cry once in the 24 hours we were gone. She sure does love her Nana! Thanks for coming Ann!
Even though Annie celebrated her 2nd birthday in Utah, I couldn't help but do something in Charlotte with all of her friends. When Noah's Art asked to be featured on Charlotte Smarty Pants, it was a win-win for everyone. I sure had a ball planning this party! Annie LOVES doing crafts and art, which was the whole inspiration being the party. I had Alexa Zurcher design my invites and party printables. I am working on a little party business on the side and she has been so patient and willing to help. I absolutely LOVE her stuff. We were lucky enough to have Allison and her boyfriend Ryan in town for the celebration. We had a fun morning out and then raced Annie home for her nap and a few last minute party preparations. I left to set up and James brought her (nap hair and all) for the celebrations. Annie was in heaven painting and playing with her friends. She especially loved her cake. I have always really enjoyed throwing parties. But no amazing, perfectly planned party can top the look on your childs face at their birthday party. I am so glad we held this little bash with all of her friends. I am thinking her third birthday is going to have to be low key after this year! This girl was sure lucky to have two parties!